EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Day six of UTEP’s search for a new men’s basketball head coach has taken an interesting turn. A source telling KTSM 9 Sports that not only is Doc Sadler a finalist for the position, “he’s [Sadler] a guy you can’t sleep on,” at this point in the search.
Steve Kaplowitz of 600 ESPN El Paso was the first to report Sadler, “could be the frontrunner for the vacancy.”
As of Monday night, there is no indication Sadler is going to get the job, merely, he’s more of a candidate than initially perceived.
According to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, UTEP has interviewed five finalists for the position after former head coach Rodney Terry bolted for Texas to become an assistant under Chris Beard:
∙Doc Sadler, Nebraska assistant coach
∙Jerome Tang, Baylor associate head coach
∙Joe Golding, Abilene Christian head coach
∙Chris Jans, New Mexico State head coach
∙David Patrick, Arkansas associate head coach
Sadler served as an assistant coach at UTEP for two years under Billy Gillispie. He became the head coach in 2004 and led the Miners to the 2005 NCAA Tournament in his first year at the helm. Sadler has the highest winning percentage (.727) of any UTEP coach in program history. In two seasons with the Miners, Sadler went 48-18 (25-7). He left UTEP to become the head coach at Nebraska in 2006.
In six seasons with the Cornhuskers, Sadler went 101-89 (34-64) from 2006-2012 with three NIT appearances. He became the head coach at Southern Miss in 2014 amidst an NCAA investigation into the Golden Eagles program. The NCAA put Southern Miss on probation for violations under their previous head coach, Donnie Tyndall, putting Sadler and the program in an almost impossible situation to succeed. He went 56-94 (32-57) in five seasons with the Golden Eagles before stepping down in 2019. Sadler has since joined Fred Hoiberg’s staff back at Nebraska.
As a head coach, Sadler has compiled a record of 205-201.
UTEP director of athletics Jim Senter is expected to name a head coach in the coming days.